2022 New Year’s resolution for every player on the Milwaukee Bucks

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, George Hill
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 24 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks: 2022 New Year’s resolution for Bobby Portis – Build off what has been an improved defensive campaign thus far

With Lopez out, the Bucks have placed Bobby Portis in the starting five for most of the season to try and fill the void. He has done an outstanding job filling in, currently averaging career-bests in several categories. The increased opportunity has given Portis the opportunity to shine, especially on the defensive end, which has been regarded as one of his weakest attributes. Defensively, the absence of Lopez has been felt for the Bucks due to his elite shot-blocking ability, and though he has not fully replicated that presence, Portis has done his best. Through his 788 minutes played this season, Portis currently has 26 blocked shots, which tied a career-high he set last year, but the biggest difference is that it took him 1,372 minutes to get it during the 2020-21 season. He has also been a great individual defender as his opponents are shooting just 42.1 percent from the floor, according to NBA.com/stats. That can be a flawed way to judge a player’s defensive play under certain circumstances, but there is no denying that Portis has looked far better on that end this season. He must keep this trend consistent with Lopez’s return still off in the distance.

Milwaukee Bucks: 2022 New Year’s resolution for Khris Middleton – Regain his groove on the offensive end

Khris Middleton started the season off in a rough patch offensively that was only made tougher after he was pulled from the lineup after entering health and safety protocols. Once he returned from that absence, his shooting struggles persisted. Through 26 games, the forward is shooting 42.2 percent from the field, a career-low, and 36.3 percent from three, the third-worst mark in his career. As a result, he is averaging 18.6 points per game, a step below where he has been over the past two seasons as a 20 point per game scorer. Middleton is certainly capable of getting back up to par offensively and shaking this shooting slump. After all, he has consistently flirted with having a 50/40/90 season with his shooting splits over the previous two seasons, as he has established himself among the best three-level scorers in the league today. It would be a massive boost if the forward could turn a new leaf in 2022 and find that efficiency offensively.